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Salle Mae Wants Me to Pay on a Loan I Don’t Owe for My National Guard Son

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I go a call that my son owed a large amount to a college he was attending. They admitted they had failed to invoice him hence the pileup. Suddenly SallieMae was calling me wanting to know if I would cosign. Not knowing what else to do I said ok.

They took my SS number and I never signed anything. My son joined the national guard, who promised to pay the loans. He is back in school and they are supposed to be deferred. Now they are hounding me

I only agreed to one loan and they have me on two. I understood that they would only involve me if he didn’t pay.

Now they have me on two loans and have put them on my credit report, which is keeping me from being able to refi my house to reduce the interest.

If they have it on my credit and my sons aren’t they double-dipping? I understood that only occurred if he defaulted. If you call them you get on hold for 1.5 hours and still don’t get anyone.

if you don’t give them the personal information they threaten to hang up. What can be done

Anonymous

Answer:

Dear Anonymous,

My universal law of consigning is never, ever, ever, never do it. When you cosign you are accepting 100% liability for the debt, it will impact your credit report, and you may find yourself in collections or sued over the debt.

The only party that benefits the most when a cosigner is involved is the lender.

The issue with you agreeing to cosign for one loan for your son over the phone is actually a legal question. It might just be that you can’t enter a contract unless it is writing in your state.

Given the stakes of this situation, I would highly recommend that you talk to a consumer attorney that is licensed to practice law in your state.

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Only a lawyer licensed to practice law in your state can give you a legal opinion or provide you with legal representation.

One place to look for a lawyer in your state would be here.

It might cost you a bit of money to hire the lawyer to represent you in this situation but it would be money well invested.

The lawyer will probably write a letter to Sallie Mae and asked them to address the situation. It is further than you or I can get sitting on hold and talking to any representative.

The reason the stakes are high here is I think there is reasonable concern that you are even legally bound to be a cosigner on the one loan and how the second loan got stuck on you is a mystery.

The fact this is a contract, obligation, or agreement to pay someone else’s debts is typically one of those situations when the agreement must be in writing.

Since you are being called over the student loans I’m concerned as well. That would indicate to me the loans are not on hold and payments are expected. If payments are not being made, those delinquent payments will drag down your credit score.

I would not be surprised if Sallie Mae started calling you and asking you to cosign the loans because they were already in default.

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But more importantly, your son may not be aware of what the terms of the deal are with the National Guard. For example, the Army National Guard has a program to help deal with student loans, but only federal student loans. Federal student loans don’t have cosigners so that makes me believe these might be private student loans.

Private student loans are not eligible for the Army National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). – Source

My fear here is your son may not be aware of the specifics on what loans may be eligible for some National Guard benefit and these are private student loans.

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That would mean that payments on these private student loans are due now, they are delinquent, and because Sallie Mae has attached you to these loans it will drag down your credit.

Do not ignore this situation.

Post an update in the comments section below on what you find out.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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